JIM CRAIG


Jim's favourite shirt and trophy.

Jim at Celtic

Born in GOVAN in the mid 1940's, Jim (or 'Cairney', as he's more effectionatly known) was one of our greatest athletes.
A former pupil of St Gerards Senior Sec. School in Govan, Jim is now a respected dentist.
He signed for Celtic in January 1961, played for the club from 1965 to 1972 and was at right back in the team which beat Inter Milan to become the first British side to win the European Cup, the Lions of Lisbon.
During the period when he was a player, Jim Craig recalls the atmosphere, the players, the management, the games and many fascinating anecdotes of a remarkable period in Scottish football in his book "A Lion Looks Back".
Results from 1888/89 until 1967 are listed in detail with an analytical report on every trophy such as the Empire Exhibition Trophy and the Coronation Cup, which Celtic won in competition with Scottish and English teams.
This is a book which every true Celtic supporter will treasure.
Read Hugh MacDonald's review below;
For anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the book

Please contact Jim at Cairney67@Hotmail.com

This man Craig is still on the ball
There are times when the commentary must be silenced and the final score revealed.
For Jim Craig's A Lion Looks Back John Donald, 15.95
There can be only one result: an overwhelming recommendation. If you are Celtic fan, buy this book. If you are not, buy it anyway.
Celtic, Jock Stein, and the Lisbon Lions have been well served by biographers and historians. But Craig's book has a distinct voice and is written from a splendid vantage point. Put simply, Jim Craig was there.
His account grips as a historical sporting, social and personal document.
He writes that the story of Celtic on the field can be summed up thus: "Thirty years of success (1889-1919) followed by 20 years of disappointment (1920-1940); then 25 years of drought (1940-1965) before the years of plenty (1965-).
Craig, with the hustling workrate became his forte as a player, does his best to fill the gaps. The text is interspersed by marvelous photographs which complement a mass of statistical detail.
But it is Craig's restless enthusiasm which invigorates the pages.
Born of Hibernian parents in 1888. Celtic's early years could have been dismissed with a cursory glance at the record book.
Instead Craig takes us down the stinking wynds of the Saltmarket to describe the brutal reality for Irish immigrants and the poverty which indirectly spawned a football club.
Football does not exist in a vacuum and Craig can tell as much us the society which cradled and nurtured a great team.
Fascinating titbits on life at the turn of the century include how laborers earned, the number of deaths from whooping cough, the licensing hours, the number of arrests of drunks, and the names of the great stores of Glasgow.
But the football is Craig's preoccupation and he lingers on the personalities that made an institution.
Lance-Corporal William Angus may never have fingered a Scottish Cup meal as a player on Celtic's books but in the bloody arena of Givench in 1915, he was awarded a Victoria Cross.
The inspiration to the most genuine of football heroes states laconically that Angus "was wounded 40 times, sometimes seriously."
Craig senses that the history of the club is held together by a golden chain of great players and his attention is focused in the playing of the game.
Early tactics, particularly, a cavalier 1-1-8 system, are reconstructed and discussed.
From Jimmy Quinn at the turn of the century, through Patsy Gallagher, Jimmy McGrory (472 goals in 445 games), to Malcolm MacDonald, and Charlie Tully, they are some of the great that are celebrated as their stars seem to shine down the years.
This is, in essence, a player's story.
Craig's credentials for telling it are unimpeachable.
He signed for Celtic in season 1960-61 and won seven championship medals, four Scottish Cup medals, three League Cup badges, and a European Cup medal.
In a "show us yer medals" competition he suffers in comparison only with the aforementioned Lance Corporal Angus, VC.
His love of the club was fostered in darkest Govan, cemented as a player and reached unlikely heights when he married a director's daughter.
So when Craig talks footballing matters it is a pleasure to listen.
His player's knowledge is complemented by a fan's enthusiasm.
He offers some wonderful oral history as he interviews stars whose brilliance has not faded with time.
Goalkeeper Willie Miller tells of the game before the Second World War. John McPhail talks of how chairman Bob Kelly wrested control of the club and Paddy Crerand, with customary candor, reveals the bizarre story of his transfer to Manchester United.
Craig moved from supporter to player and unwittingly stepped into the land of plenty.
The symphony of success was orchestrated by Jock Stein and reached a crescendo on a balmy night in Lisbon.
Craig never commands center stage. He knows he is only part of a greater story. He does not slink into the shadows, however.
In a marvelous essay on Stein, he profiles a great.
Despite confrontations with the manager, Craig's respect can be gauged by one lingering image. Craig, at 40 and a professional man with his player days well behind him, interviewed Stein and called him Boss throughout.
Craig's standing as a Celtic great was franked by the gold of Lisbon.
This books adds further lustre to his reputation.

As stated previously, he was a member of the famous 'Lisbon Lions', the Glasgow Celtic Football Team, who won every competition they entered in 1967, including the BBC television programme 'Quizball' with Jim being the most prominent member of a succesful panel.

TAKE ME BACK TO GOVAN FOLK PLEASE.

Take me back